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BIC Brussels: Exploring agricultural policies in light of the oneness of humanity

an image of a field with the text "towards a sustainable food system" in large black font in the sky
The Bahá’í International Community has released a statement exploring the implications of the principle of the oneness of humanity for improving global food security.

BIC BRUSSELS — The Brussels Office of the Bahá’í International Community (BIC) has released a statement titled Towards a Sustainable Food System, which explores the implications of the principle of the oneness of humanity for improving global food security.

The BIC presented its statement to the Ministers of Agriculture at the European Union (EU) who had gathered in the Czech Republic to discuss policies relating to food production and distribution.

The discussions at that gathering, reads the statement, “provide a timely opportunity for the discourse to… address systemic challenges,” highlighting the need for analysis to account for the broader impact of EU agricultural policies not just in Europe, but throughout the world.

an image of a news statement with a picture of a wheat field in it
The new statement by the Brussels Office of the Bahá’í International Community explores the implications of the principle of the oneness of humanity for improving global food security.

The BIC proposes, in its statement, that widening participation in decision-making processes “must be understood not merely as negotiation aimed at producing a tolerable consensus, but as a collective investigation into what sustainable food systems entail, in which all meaningfully engage and to which all contribute.”

This approach has formed the basis of the BIC’s own contribution to the discourse on food security, as the three BIC Offices in Addis Ababa, Brussels, and Geneva periodically bring together officials, diverse social actors, and civil society organizations in Europe and Africa—where EU policies have notable impact—for a collective exploration of pressing issues.

Recent discussions held by the BIC have examined topics such as the relationship between agricultural policies, rural sustainability, and the causes of migration. These conversations are showing that when issues are explored in light of the principle of oneness, participants are better able to consider the impact of their decisions and actions not only on their own surroundings but on the whole of humanity.

16 people are shown on a call together, some are smiling, most have a straight face though and are in discussion
An online discussion hosted by the Brussels Office of the BIC and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN), bringing together over 80 policymakers and other social actors from Africa and Europe to explore links between European agricultural policies and the adverse drivers of migration in Africa.

Other efforts of the BIC in this area include a statement titled The First Active Agent in Human Society: Putting Farmers at the Heart of Food Security Policy, exploring how knowledge generated about food production by farmers and communities at the local level can inform international policies on food and agriculture.

Rachel Bayani of the Brussels Office says: “The world is in need of a food system that is sustainable, non-exploitative, and provides for all of humanity. No single actor and no single continent currently possess all the insights that would allow for a food system to be placed on a solid foundation.

“What we need is a collective inquiry and learning process where peoples from all regions of the world, from researchers to farmers, think about this challenge together and are connected to discussions where meaningful decisions are being made about food systems.”

The Brussels Office will be hosting a number of events in the coming months to explore the new statement further with social actors and officials concerned with the question of food security.

5 images are shown of people doing various activities related to gardening such as planting different plants
Agricultural initiatives of Bahá’í communities in countries around the world are inspired by the Bahá’í principle of the harmony of science and religion, the oneness of humanity, and service to society.

6 people are shown talking in a semi-circle sitting on chairs, each of them with a book
Some of the initiatives carried out by Bahá’í-inspired organizations in Africa enable rural communities to participate in generating knowledge about agricultural systems.

8 people are shown on a call talking
A discussion hosted by the Geneva Office of the BIC during the UN Global Food Systems Summit, bringing together the Deputy to the UN Special Envoy for the summit, the Secretary of the Committee on World Food Security, the Director for Knowledge Management and Learning at CARE International, representatives from the United Nations Development Programme, as well as Bahá’í-inspired organizations with related experience.

Originally published on the Baha'i World News Service



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